Yesterday, the Moroccan Parliament unanimously adopted the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement. No wonder. Through the agreement, the EU will pay Morocco to fish in the waters offshore the territory Morocco is illegally occupying: Western Sahara.
Mbarka Bouaida, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, once again stressed the importance of the agreement in terms of securing political ties with the European Union. "This protocol defines the means and conditions of the relationship between the two parties in maritime fishing in order to serve national interests, to support political ties with the EU and its members and to ensure the sustainability of the kingdom’s fisheries resources" she was quoted saying in Moroccan media.
But while the political process is now practically finished – pending publication of the agreement in Morocco’s State Journal – the technical procedures are still to kick-in: creation of a joint technical committee, demand and delivery of fishing licenses, technical visits, etc. The process is expected to take up another month.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.